Red Bull apologises over offensive ad

JAKARTA • Red Bull has publicly apologised for shooting a commercial in which an athlete performed acrobatic stunts across one of Indonesia's ancient holy temples, an official said yesterday.

The energy drink manufacturer issued an apology in national newspapers admitting it shot the video at the 9th-century Borobudur temple "without permission from the appropriate authorities".

The video - in which a famous "free running" athlete is shown jumping between the temple's stone stupas - triggered outrage in Indonesia, where Borobudur is a revered Buddhist site and national icon.

In one scene, the athlete is seen walking past a sign clearly stating "No Climbing" in both English and Indonesian before performing acrobatics throughout the Unesco-listed heritage site.

The video was shot secretly despite the crew having been issued a warning by temple guards, Borobudur Conservation Agency head Marsis Sutopo told news agency Agence France-Presse. "They must have shot again while our guards were not looking," he said.

The video, uploaded online on March 18, sparked outrage within Indonesia and prompted the government to threaten a legal suit against Red Bull.

The authorities later issued a warning to the drink company after determining no physical damage had been incurred. Red Bull met government officials last month and agreed to place formal apologies in national newspapers.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2016, with the headline 'Red Bull apologises over offensive ad'. Print Edition | Subscribe